New research from the children’s mental health charity Young Minds, show that mental health services for children and young people in England were cut by £35 million last year, despite a government commitment to transform mental health care. The report shows that since George Osborne became chancellor five years ago a total of £85m has been lost from the budgets of mental health trusts and local authorities.
The National Health Action Party's Dr Carl Walker, who is chair of the European Community Psychology task force on austerity and mental health said:
"Despite government promises to put funding for mental health conditions on a par with physical illnesses, we have yet again seen a real terms cut in funding for essential services that were already underfunded. These cuts are wholly unjustifiable. In some cases this funding crisis means the difference between desperately distressed young people living or dying and is incomprehensible to those of us who work with mental health service users.
"Sadly, this yet again shows that what the government says and what it does are two different things. This is a government that says it seeks parity of mental health funding but consistently cuts that funding just as it says that it absolutely supports an NHS free at the point of delivery but two months after the election announces an inquiry into other forms of insurance-based health funding. Young people in distress deserve better from their government".